Minor Frustrations, Chicago
In a related article that came out on the same day as my previous warning/danger tip was this about hanging out at the beautiful Chicago beaches:
Beaches and parks are closed from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. so even though you can catch the sun setting in the west (not that easy looking west from Chicago towards to suburbs with all those huge buildings in the way), you wouldn't be able to legally see the sun rise in the east (looking toward Indiana or Michigan) over Lake Michigan in the summer months when the sun gets up before 6:00 a.m.
Your punishment if caught - Up to a $500 fine.
UPDATE: Added this picture on a Chicago day in Mid-May. The beach season really doesn't get started until the end of May and trust me you wouldn't want to spend too much time here until then as the water is just starting to lose its winter chill.
This is not a major warning i.e. nothing that endangers you, but worth mentioning.
It might be my imagination, but birds in this area seem to have a Kama Kazi temperament. They swoop low with disregard to dangers e.g. right in front of your face. Even once in a car, the bird zoomed past our windshield. Just don't get a fright if it happens to you!
Click here to return to my VT CHICAGO HOMEPAGE.
Of all of the places I've been, I find that people from Chicago have the biggest attitude problem!!! I don't find them usually very friendly, and many of them have "a chip on their shoulder." They can be rude and obnoxious at times!
You are in a really good mood, so you say "hello," and "good morning," to the people on the street. Most often, they will not reply -- instead, they will give you a dirty look and wonder, "Why is this person saying hello?" and " What do they want from me?!"
You wear a nice outfit and feel great about yourself -- yet no one compliments you. Guys pass by without a second look, as if they didn't even notice you... Women are thinking, "Who does she think she is?!" while they roll their eyes behind your back. Keep your chin up! You know you look great!!!
At a concert of a well-known local act (Billy Corgan)... I expected everyone to welcome him with cheers at the show. Instead, everyone was like, "Oh, yeah??? Let's see, what you got?" trying to get him to prove himself. When I saw the same show in St. Louis, the people were so much better!!
Don't get discouraged! If you're aware, you'll be fine. Let me know how it goes...
This is not really a danger, but it is a warning that Chicago has more moveable bridges than anywhere else in the world. For some commuters, the raising of the bridges is a dreaded experience. However, for the visitor, it can be a great "treat"!
These moveable bridges use a system of pivots and counterweights that raise and lower the heavy platforms. The first trunnion bascule bridge in Chicago was The Cortland Street Bridge that was engineered in 1902 by John Ernst Ericson; it was also the first trunnion bascule bridge built in the United States. This red steel bridge still works and still impresses people. One of the biggest moveable bridges is the Michigan Avenue Bridge with its bracketed large sculptures.(This is the only bridge that I have seen raised)
The Damen Avenue Bridge is an award-winning steel-arch bridge that is lined with ribbons of red and located just a few miles west of downtown Chicago.
If you are luckey, you will be in the right spot at the right time and have the honor of seeing one of these bridges raised.
The Damen Avenue Bridge is at North Damen Avenue at the Chicago River.
The Michigan Avenue Bridge is at Michigan Avenue at the Chicago River.
The Cortland Street Bridge is located at 1440 West Cortland Street
The good news is that Chicago had the courage to comission a new bandshell designed by Frank Gehry.
The bad news is that it was supposed to be the MILLENIUM bandshell. It's 2003 and not done yet! [Not to mention to cost overruns :(]
Welcome to Chicago:(
No I'm not talking about the horde of Canadian comedians or singers that can be found throughout the U.S., but instead the many Canadian geese that call Chicago home part of the year!
While these birds are beautiful to look at, they leave a big mess on the grass they've been on. And don't dare feed one or you'll have a number of them running after you for their helping too! :-)
No particular dangers here, just a tale.
I arrived in Chicago and went to the Hotel, the Hilton. Arrived, I showed my voucher, but the waiter saidthat they were able to see the reservation in their computers (Ah! Internet!) but that the bill wasn't paid, I had to pay for that (300 USD).
The morning after I woke and went to the Airport, the Midway, to fly to my next destination, Vancouver.
I showed my ticket at the check-in desk, but they say that my secretary cancelled my reservation. I got very angry there (I cheated because it was not their fault actually), and after a while they found a solution for me, that consisted to change my Continental flight to Vancouver with and American Airlines flight to Denver in coincidence with an United Airlines flight to Vancouver.
Arrived to Denver I run to the desk (for those who have never been there, the Denver airport is HUGE!) and I found that the guys at Vancouver made a reservation to Vancouver for one person (we were two).
Another crisis of anger and we flew to Vancouver.
OBVIOUSLY the luggage had been lost somewhere in the US. We got it back three days later.
The operator at the phone said me many times phlegmaticly: 'we are looking for your luggage, sir. It must be in the southwest USA'...
The moral is then: NEVER MAKE STOPOVERS CHANGING AIRLINES WITHOUT RETIRING AND RE-EMBARKING YOUR LUGGAGE!